An annual activity our family enjoys is strawberry picking. Nebraska strawberries can be a finicky thing, and the last couple of years we were living there a late frost or crazy storms destroyed the crop. We got a few, but not as many as years past. Last year, we came home with so many strawberries from Barbie's Berries out in Lynden, that they lasted until last month in the freezer! For every corn or cattle farm in Nebraska, is a berry farm in Washington. They're everywhere. Strawberries, raspberries, then blueberries, in that order, over the span of about 6 weeks or so.
We took our opportunity to pick a 10-lb bucket full of strawberries yesterday morning with some friends. They are so ripe, the juice stains the fingers within minutes. Ani, who loves strawberries more than any other fruit, had juice on her hands, shirt, pants, and backside! Every year she manages to get a stomach-ache from her indulgence!
The strawberries were at their peak and probably had *maybe* five days left on them. By the time we got them home, all they were oozing juice and quite squishy. If we had gone about five or so days earlier, they probably would have been a bit more firm, but these will make excellent smoothies and fruit leather!
it was a little bright out!
We went to Boxx Berry farm near Ferndale and they had a great setup for u-pick. They even had a little general store with local cherries, raw honey, and homegrown bouquets for sale, too. Out back was a sparse playground that we didn't stay too long at because the kids were restless. I got some dog-time in with the local golden retriever who was romping around from one family to another, trying to get as many pats on the head as he could.
If this sounds like fun and you are in Whatcom county, a fabulous resource I've found is the Whatcom Foods & Farm Finder, a large brochure that comes out every year. In it you can find farms that sell (most have picking for customers, too) berries, cheese, honey, nuts, veggies, and other fruits.
If you're outside western Washington, an online resource is called PickYourOwn.org and with this website you can find u-pick farms all over the country.